Definitely “Free!” is one of the most important anime in history. The best sports anime of all time ranks third in CBR, it comes from the hit series “Free!” is amongst the oldest and most successful sports anime of all time. However, this long journey seems to be coming to an end. This will the last movie in the franchise.
If you watch Free, you probably already know the first of these movies, Free! Final Stroke Part 1”, released in September. That leaves just one movie until the franchise dedicated to competitive swimming ends. Unfortunately, Kyoto Animation hasn’t revealed much about the plot of this movie, although the same can’t be said about the release date and cast. With this in mind, let’s discuss what we know about the movie!
The official release date of Free! The Final Stroke II
The world has known “Free! The Final Stroke” for a long time. According to Anime News Network, Kyoto Animation revealed the trilogy film project with a specific release date in April. Unlike much other anime (and the media in general), it’s no secret that “The Final Stroke Part 2” will be released. The publication date is still April 22, 2022.
However, before jumping for joy, there are a few caveats about this release date. But remember that the April 22 date is just for Japanese theaters. The international fans have a long wait. You’ll have to wait and see how this groundbreaking sports anime ends.
Unfortunately, Kyoto Animation did not reveal when “The Final Stroke” could cross the Pacific to reach the rest of the world. However, it is likely to occur sometime within a year of the movies coming out. However, anime fans have never been particularly patient with these things, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the movies (illegally, of course) appeared somewhere on the internet long before an official Western release.
Characters of the final part
While we don’t know much about the plot of “The Final Stroke”, fans can still expect to see all of the usual characters from “Free!” Franchising. The most important of these characters are of course the protagonist Haruka Nanase, played by Nobunaga Shimazaki in Japanese, and Todd Haberkorn in English dub. Haruka is in the center of “Free!” From the very beginning, he has always pushed for his dream of becoming a professional swimmer.
Fortunately, he is never alone in his quest and always has companions to support him. This also includes his main rival Rin Matsuoka (Mamoru Miyano and Vic Mignogna). The importance of rivals in sports anime can’t be understated, but just as important are the people Haruka doesn’t keep trying to beat. Characters like Rei Ryugazaki (Daisuke Hirakawa and J. Michael Tatum), Makoto Tachibana (Tatsuhisa Suzuki and Johnny Young Bosch), and Nagisa Hazuki (Tsubasa Yonaga and Greg Ayres), all hold special places as members of the Haruka High School team and they are all likely to appear in “The Final Stroke Part 2.”
Plotline- what competition are we expecting
Unfortunately, the true plot of “The Final Stroke Part 2” is the biggest mystery that we remain unaware of. The motto of the anime: “Let’s go to the stage of glory!” indicates that Haruka and his friends are planning for something glorious. However, what this thing was about was strictly confidential.
Since the movie was originally supposed to appear alongside the original 2020 Olympics but was delayed after a studio arson (via Crunchyroll) to the “stage of fame” referenced in the slogan, it could very well be the Olympics. If so, it would be a monumental event for the Free! However, it is only a matter of guessing.
Regardless of what “The Final Stroke” is about, it will surely cover Haruka’s ultimate rise to becoming a world swimmer. The character has pursued this dream for nearly eight years, and it would be a shame if the saga ends without Haruka receiving the recognition she deserves as an athlete.